Our Little System


About a year ago my interest in photography started to wane. Dragging the tripod, lenses and the rest of our kit off to the coast, standing in the rain for hours for just a couple of images, had become tedious. I’d also found myself snapping endlessly and inanely on holidays, days out, family visits, so much so that I didn’t have time to enjoy what I was actually doing. I made a pact with myself to leave the camera at home and my 2014 and 2015 image folders are significantly emptier than 2013. It had stopped being fun.

But things are changing. I’ve had a few projects that forced me to think photographically again, an author photo shoot for The Mechanics’ Institute Review, a beautiful coastal wedding for some lovely friends, and a spontaneous abstract project with my husband, PJ.

We didn’t plan to collaborate, or even take any photographs. We were just messing around with PJ’s pocket microscope (he was looking to see if I had a splinter in my thumb) and wondered if we could capture what we were seeing using the small lens of a phone camera.


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The first few pictures took us by surprise, the microscope/phone combo produced clear images with great magnification. The objects were swirled out of context by the mirrors, creating an otherworldly glow. We searched the house for anything we could put under the microscope. Strawberries, nail varnish, jewellery, shells, ornaments, toys, rocks, PJ’s collection of seaside junk paraphernalia; turns out we have a lot of stuff lying around.

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The kit was minimal and we didn’t have to leave the house. The resulting images were exciting, unpredictable and immediate. They barely needed any processing.

I’m not sure if my interest is fully awakened, but I’m definitely remembering that photography can be fun.

See the rest of Our Little Worlds here.